ALBUQUERQUE ― An impressive panel of federal and local law enforcement, state agencies, justice, school system, medical fields, behavioral health, addiction and aftercare treatment organizations, faith-based groups, involved community sponsors like Blake’s LotaBurger, and a representative of the funeral industry have joined forces with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS) to ensure effective community outreach and involvement to maximize the impact of an upcoming exhibition entitled Drugs: Costs and Consequences … Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause.
Between 2012-2016, 2,465 people died in New Mexico from drug overdose; 86 percent of those overdose deaths were unintentional, and 60 percent of the unintentional drug overdose deaths were caused by prescription drugs. (Source: New Mexico Department of Health Substance Abuse Epidemiology Profile, November 2017).
“Opiod, methamphetamine, and illegal drug deaths in New Mexico and throughout the United States have reached epidemic proportions,” NMMNHS Director Margie Marino said. “As an engaged public institution and community partner, the museum has joined forces with the DEA in bringing Drugs: Costs and Consequences to the Museum early next year and this task force is designed to engage our community partners who deal with the devastating effects of this epidemic.”
Drugs: Costs & Consequences is a traveling exhibition from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum and the DEA Education Foundation. Formerly known as Target America, the exhibition has traveled to 16 cities and has been viewed by more than 22 million visitors. The exhibit will be on display daily in Albuquerque from Jan. 26 through through the Fall of 2019.
“The DEA and museum have joined forces in engaging many local partners, including those who’ve lost children to drugs, and those who have turned their lives around, to delve into the impact these drugs are having on our society,” Marino said.
The DEA Task Force has meet three times in Albuquerque to date and will continue to meet throughout the duration of the exhibition. The Task Force is establishing a speakers list as a resource for local media and working to create a community event for those impacted by addiction and will facilitate a space near the exhibit where people can share their stories.